Friday, August 29, 2008

My Celebrity Look-a-likes

I am always noticing that even strangers look so familiar, and it usual comes out that they look like a celebrity. My hubby looks like a cross between Adam Sandler and Ross from Friends, his coworker looks just like Robin Williams, my mom looks like Tim the Tool Man's wife...
But I never could pick out my own. Luckily for this site, now I know. And it's quite flattering, with the exception of Fred Savage. My favs are Martina McBride and Christie Brinkley.

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

Breaking News - McCain's VP Choice!

Well, my mother is a avid Fox News watcher, so she's been keeping me up to date on the Presidential Campaign. Here's the most likely to be announced VP in John McCain's campaign for President! Gov. of Alaska Sarah Palin. What an edge to have this incredible woman!

Some excerpts of interest from Fox News:

"Palin is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. She is the state’s first female governor, the mother of five — and at 44 is its youngest chief executive.

"Palin is well received among both economic and social conservatives. She is quoted saying in 2002 that she is as “pro-life as any candidate can be.” The Club for Growth, a government spending watchdog, described Palin as a “genuine reformer.”

"Sarah and Todd Palin have five children: boys Track, 19, and Trig, 4 months, and daughters Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7. Track Palin joined the Army last Sept. 11 and will deploy to Iraq next month. Palin had kept her pregnancy with Trig a secret as she worked in the governor’s mansion, confirming only weeks before the birth that she was going to have a son who she knew would have Down syndrome. She returned to work in April three days after giving birth.

"Palin will be the second female vice presidential candidate from a major political party. The first was New York Rep. Geraldine Ferrarro, who was Walter Mondale’s Democratic running mate in 1984. Ferrarro told FOX News that Palin could pick up a lot of Hillary Clinton’s supporters who have not locked in on Obama."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm a 1970's gal!

I guess this is appropriate since I was born in 1979. Does that mean I live in the past? Haha. I would have guessed the 1940s, since that is my favorite era.

You Belong in 1978
Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

The DNC still a threat to the unborn.


American Right to Life Action displays message on mountain outside DNC





World's largest sign protests abortion outside DNC
Pro-life president: Group is 'used to cleaning up the mess created by liberals'



Read this article at WorldNetDaily for more information.



My husband has been standing up at this Local Carpenter's Union meetings protesting their incessant pushing of the Democratic Party. Some stand with him, some are Democrat to the core. If you have loved the Democratic Party, but are not sure if they represent you as a Catholic, read this book:



Can a Catholic Be a Democrat: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion






Just remember, when you vote, it is not about what is just good for you, but what is good for this country, and what is good in the eyes of God. It's a big leap for Tom to vote for a republican that might not be behind his job as a union carpenter, but every other aspect of our Catholic/Christian life screams republican. It's prolife, supporting and respecting our troops, justice for the wrong doers and freedom for all nations.

Remember, even though we are American's, we are also God's people - a God who doesn't see fences and boundaries. Neither should we. That is why I think voting Republican is the most self-less thing we can do. To vote Democrate would just be selfish.

Got a comment? Bring it on!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Mothers Day! Again!

The Feast of St. Monica is like another Mother's Day.

"St. Monica is remembered as having a stressful life, between her ill-tempered husband and rebellious son. Through persistent prayer and sacrifice, and her patience and gelthleness, St. Monica's hubsand converted before he died. Her rebellious son Augustine was also converted and became a bishop and saint and is recognized as a Doctor of the church!

"With patience and gentleness, St. Monica reminds us to pray for others, even when they are difficult to get along with. She offers us hope in our prayer for those who stray from Jesus."

-Taken from "A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families" by Monica McConkey
Happy feast day to her!


St. Monica Patron of Lapsed Catholics
“God of mercy, comfort of those in sorrow,
the tears of St. Monica moved you to convert her son,
St. Augustine, to the faith of Christ.
By their prayers, help us to turn from our sins
and to find your loving forgiveness.”
—St. Anthony Messenger

A moment of silent prayer for those in our lives who have either not found the Catholic Church and for those whom have strayed from it....

Today is park day (weather permitting-looks like rain) and library day. But we will spend sometime coloring pictures of St. Monica and St. Augustine who's feast day is tomorrow. We found the coloring sheets at Catholic Cuisine. Today or tomorrow you might even consider making a family tree!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Learning to Sacrifice Week 2


This week I started with a birthday party, so no time to even think about a particular sacrifice yesterday - it was just all about my daughter Mikayla. Today was really a recovery and catch up day, but I am ready to get back on track. I want to make a true effort for the rest of this week.
My sacrifice for this week is
the intention of becoming more thoughtful of others.
By this, I mean that I will try to be more complimenting of others, spending more time with others and less involved in my own agenda, and also spending more QUALITY time with my children. By that I mean actually sitting down for at least an hour to play games and read books. Tomorrow is another Wednesday Park Day and Library Day, so that's the first step.
I also really hope to go to the Catholic Homeschoolers Open House on Thursday to get over my social anxieties and meet more of the group on a personal level. To calm my nerves, I will most likely be found in adoration with Jamie that night.

Blogger's Tea

I know, I know - I am so late on this! But if you read my family blog, you'll know why.





Well, my camera died just after I took this picture, so I've been borrowing pictures from the other ladies blogs. What took place was a gathering of all Minnesota Catholic Bloggers. It also turns out that we all homeschool our children. So of course we just had to meet and talk in IRL. I had so much fun dressing up like a lady, as I headed out the door to go to the Mad Hatter Tea Room in Anoka, MN. Luckily my mom lived just minutes from there and offered to watch my children. God bless her.

We had a delicious and dainty tea luncheon with chicken salad crossaints, fresh fruit, a scone with jam, and some freshly brewed spiced orange cream tea. Now I prefer iced tea, but with a couple sugar cubes, it was just wonderful! I would recommend this place to everyone. Tracy even thought to give us all Mary cards for occasion with my favorite prayer, the Hail Holy Queen (at the bottom of my blogs).

While I got a good sense of the blogger's personalities through their writing, this day was total confirmation of my thoughts. I am so happy to know these ladies and can't wait to meet with them again. We had so much fun talking, our 3 hour parking spots were just not enough. I spent an extra 45 minutes outside talking with Jamie, my new best bud, about the Blogger's Tea and other things. That got me a $9 parking ticket that was worth every penny!

$0 Grandma for a babysitter
$10.95 Tea and Crossaints
$10.00 Teapot for daughter’s birthday
$9.00 Parking ticket for talking too long, like ladies do
$40.00 round trip gas
A few hours with my blogging friends… priceless!


Top row from left to right:
Margaret the Minnesota Mom
Susan the Aspiring Homemaker
(me) Melissa from St. Brigid's Academy and also writing What I like about you
Paula from A Catholic Harvest
Tracy living in a Pinewood Castle
Terri representing The Knight.

Front row:
Laura the Crazy Mama
Jamie whom the Lord is Making a Saint
and our brand new blogger Erika of To My Infinity (and beyond!).

THANKS LADIES!

Thank you Tracy for organizing this. What a great idea!

*** if you are a Catholic homeschooling MN blogger reading this and I don't know who you are and you would like to be included next year please leave a comment and let me know - we'd love to meet'cha! (Tracy's words - who truly converted to Minnesotan!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today I am a Tree Hugger!

Now I am not your typical tree hugger and I am certainly not a country girl by any means. I am a city girl married to a country boy - so a real City Slicker. (ggod movie!) Though, I have grown up with a certain appreciation for nature, not just as God's beautiful creation, but how it affects our emotions with each memory lived within it.

I have wonderful memories being at our family's campsite, picking rocks, having campfires, tenting out. I remember going on short nature walks with my Grandma Ludy behind her house. I remember my Uncle Tom inviting me to go with him and my cousin Jessica on my first and only boundary waters canoe trip. Really roughing it. I remember many occasions using an outhouse or whole in the ground, or not even that! I love the feeling nature brings to me when I am surrounded by its beauty.

Well, when I was about 14 my parents moved us into the country - Cold Spring MN in central minnesota - a rural area with hills of granite and a chain of 16 lakes. You might of heard it on the news for my high school, ROCORI, which had a school shooting a few years back. Anyways, I said what am I going to do here? Anything worth doing is a 30 minute drive away. Mom said confidently, Melissa you will meet some girls who will take you horseback riding, we'll take boat rides out on the lake we'll live on, and someday you'll meet a country boy or farmer to marry! OMG - that was it, I thought I would lose it right there. But you better believe it, it all came true, right down to marrying a farmer's son. And now I have a better appreciation for this country lifestyle.




















So when my husband and I had been looking for a new home closer to the city limits, we found this nice quaint neighborhood on the outskirts of town, just 5 miles from his parent's farm. The house and the yard were picturesque and we loved that even though the neighbors houses were very close to ours, we had this beautiful row of pinetrees out back to give us privacy from the senior apartments behind us. Now mind you, we have some decent but not favorite neighbors next to us. We've had our differences, but it's been over a year without too much trouble.

Just when I has agreed to take it easy and just worry about playing with my kids, I awoke this morning to the sound of a chainsaw in my back yard. Now I knew that the apartments owned the land that included a row of pinetrees behind our home as well as about 10 feet of land past them up to ours. They had never taken care of it since contruction, mostly because they couldn't see past the trees. They had given us permission to maintain and landscape it since we were the only ones seeing it. We took out many dead trees, killed the weeds, and were making plans to add edging and red mulch as our neighbors had. We had heard rumours that they would be coming this summer to trim out the dead trees and thin them out a bit to allow for new and better growth. Fine.



But NOTHING had prepared me for this sight. Not only had they decided to take down a whole row of mangy looking trees on their side of the "privacy fence" but they also cut every branch from the ground up to about 4 1/2 feet high!!!! Leaving big 4-6 foot gaps between trees. I was so irate I was crying, shaking and felt like throwing up. Yes, that upset. Never would have 'thunk it until that moment. I ran out whistling at him, asking him to spare the lower boughs on our side. Nope, it's not our property and the decision had been made.

Before


After

This will look more bare once they come back to clean it up and cut some more.

It looks like this, and it is still not cleaned up.

They just left it for who knows how long. So now we have to pay for shurbs or a privacy fence and landscaping for property that isn't even ours. Almost 20 feet by 120 feet!

So now we have this neatly trimmed, but very bare row of pines. I just know my kids won't see it as a fence any longer. They will long to run into the open yard of the apartments. The dogs that wander on the otherside I fear will decide to wander into ours. It just makes me sick that they didn't even talk to us about it. It ticks me off that they are not even going to maintain or landscape this newly baren land. They are just going to let the weeds grow as they please. Unless of course "we" want to take care of it. We are still allowed to landscape "their" property. The nerve.

Our property line is about 1-2 feet past the grass, the rest is theirs, and they don't plan to take care of it.

My husband is at work while I am calling him in frustration and anxiety. He intends to talk to the devlopment lead and apartments to figure out some sort of compromise with money for landscaping. Otherwise it's just plain ugly and unsecure. We paid good money, extra money, to have this privacy - to only have it taken away within a year.


So in conclusion, I thought we had finally found our quiet place to live for the next 20 or more years, a development full of mostly older and retired couples who care about their lawn, their privacy, and respect nature... boy were we wrong.


I would say more, but I will just have to offer it up!

Learning to Sacrifice

You remember a few posts ago I said it was revealed to me that I need to make my life a prayer. Well tonight on Jessica's Shower of Roses blog, she linked to Mrs. L - A Wellspring of Traditional Life, who is starting a blog of sorts for those who want to commit to making weekly sacrifices for the Greater Good of our souls. I encourage you to join us! Mondays sound like a good day to start...

This week I plan to sacrifice my time running about on miscellaneous errands and time spent doing "only-me" things during the sunlit hours.
In exchange, I will spend more time with my children - just playing and enjoying one of the last summer weeks we have before school begins.
So goodnight (or morning) to all of you. I will write again soon, after I play with my kids!
Life is a prayer,
Melissa

Monday, August 18, 2008

NFP

Mind you, this is [PG-20]

NFP
What does that mean to you?

No Fertility Pills
No Fruitful Pregnancies
Not Finding Patience
Never Fixing Privates
Not Forever Pregnant

Or perhaps it is:
Natural Family Planning

We'll go with that one... Most people know that NFP is a method of achieveing or postponing pregnancies through noticing the signs of ovulation and natural infertility.

There certainly has been a lot of discussion on blogs (Testosterhome, Jamie, Christine, and more) lately regarding this method. Some use it with no problems, some hate it but know its God's way so they do it anyways, some have had no classes and think they know what they are doing, and some think its a waste of time. So I wanted to share with you what I have read on the matter, regarding NFP and our moral obligation to be "Open to Life."

For Catholic's, let's start with A Contemporary Adult Guide to Conscience for the Sacrament of Confession by Fr. Richard J Rego.

>>Starting at Page 17 you will find "Sins Against Human Life" as an alternative description to "Thou Shalt Not Kill." There is documentation regarding abortions, direct sterilization, contraception, artificial insemination, and more. All of these are mortal sins that rob your soul of the state of grace. Did you know that? I thought I understood. But I guess I was missing some of the finer details of these subcategories of such a big sin.

>>This book asks "Have I practiced any form of contraception whatsover? Contraception is the use of a condom, IUD, diaphragm, the contraceptive pill, sponges, pre-mature withdrawl by the man, or ANY OTHER MEASURE THAT WOULD IMPEDE THE TRANSMISSION OF HUMAN LIFE." (A side issue is that Homosexuality is a sin for the same reason.)

>>It continues to talk about Contraception being an "intrinsically evil act, is never, under any circumstances whatsoever, morally acceptable!" That's a lot of words meaning really bad. "Natural Family Planning however is essentially different from contraception. Although its purpose it to limit births, it does so by taking into account the natural rhythms of a woman's body, built in by the Creator. The use of NFP for serious or just reasons is a morally acceptable way of limiting births. NFP can be used either temporarily or if justly required, permanently."

>>It does give a description of what these just reasons are. They are categorizes by Physical, Economic, Psychological, and Social hardships. Any other reasons are "purely selfish or less than just motives would constitute a sin against the very meaning of married life."

I took some time to think about this for awhile. Am I being selfish when I make love to my husband based on these guidelines? Yes. I won't talk about which ones, but we were wrong in our ways. So with lots of prayer and research, we have changed our ways. It's been a rough few weeks, but the act itself is more pleasureable, and our respect for each other's bodies and beliefs has grown. We still are able to use NFP to postpone pregnancy because of mental, physical and financial reasons. But when those issues are no longer there - the Church states we must be completely open. And we will be!


The question still remains for so many of you:
Are you using NFP for selfish reasons?
Is your mental and physical self suitibly stable and fertile?
Are your finances stable within reason?

Then according to the Catholic Church (by the Autority of God), you should be using NFP for the purposes of procreation.

Let's check out some more information from the
Catechism of the Catholic Church - which is like a rules and regulations book for Catholics, but speaks so honestly and intelligently I believe other faith lives would feel comfortable taking it to heart. It is gathered from a multitude of documents of the church and it's founding fathers.

>>Quick Reference: #1652, 2258, 2360-2400

CC 1652 "The openness to fertility""By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."

Children are not owed to us or planned solely by us - they are God's gift to us. So by not allowing moments when God can give us those gifts, what are we really saying to Him? He asks us to purely be open to His gifts, and accept them with love and gratitude. He knows what we need, what we are capable of handling, and He gives us generous Graces!

June 2006 we went to the MN Catholic Home Education Conference, to discern if homeschooling was for us. In the midst of the main talk given by Kimberly Hahn, she not only convinced us that that was the right path, but she opened my mind and I heard God's calling to try for more children. In the summer I miscarried a child (Baby Jo after St. Joseph) just after week 5 - days after I announced to the world I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it, why would God ask me to be open then take them away so quickly. I went into a deep state of depression that lead me to the ER, medication and a series of therapy visits.

The day of my worst breakdown ever, I was comforted by my husband, which lead to another pregnancy. I miscarried her (Baby Mary) at 5 weeks also. I finally decided that that was enough, and we stopped trying and we began charting to postpone pregnancy for the first time.

WELL - God had other plans. That December I got pregnant. I freaked out and anticipated a miscarriage. Nothing happened. So I waited to almost 12 weeks before saying anything to anyone. And happily by the grace of God, we now have our little Sabrina. And life wouldn't be the same without her. Because of the pregnancy, my hormones stabilized and my depression diminished for the entire pregnancy - no drugs. At the end of the 3rd trimester I saw my therapist who helped me through some baby blues. And every time I begin to feel depressed, my children raise my eyes to God in thanks and praise. God has abundant Graces for those things we think we cannot handle. God KNEW what we needed, and when we needed it. It was not our decision. NFP did not fail us, God simply allowed conception to occur despite our actions. Because we were using NFP we were telling God that we are still subjective to HIS WILL and His gifts...

CC2366-2379:
This section has the word "fecundity" many times over. It means:
The power or quality of producing abundantly; fruitfulness or fertility.

"The fecundity of marriage. Fecundity is a gift, and [part] of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside ans something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is on the side of life, teaches that 'each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life.'...Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life... they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator..."

"[2370] Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil. "

"Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by and objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself TOTALLY to the other. This leands not only to a positive refusal to be open to life, but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love..."

In otherwords, if you are using ANY form of contraception, you are not being open to life nor are you totally giving of yourself to your spouse. And in my books, that's just sad and selfish.

For those who are blessed with many children, you may say - okay we are done! We are stretched out financially and emotionally with this many children. Or perhaps you have a medical condition, such as multiple c-sections, that make it difficult to be pregnant. These are valid reasons to use NFP as a permanent solution.

God knows you intimately, so you have to let Him have the final say. You have to still remain in a fertile state. But simply abstain during your fertile times. But you say - well if I am done, why not make it impossible to conceive? Why bother with all that charting. Well, unless you had a hysteretomy due to complications of a c-section or other diseases.... your body parts are not open to maring or mutilation. I read up on this after my third c-secion when determining if tying my tubes is a choice for catholics in medical extremes. I found such relief in the fact that NFP is not only the only choice for Catholics, but it is a natural choice, non-invasive, reversible, and beautiful in the eyes of God. It has truly been a blessing in our family and married life. I pray that it can be for your's too.

I have so much more to write, so I'll submit this much for now and see what comments come...

To conclude, here are some links to help you:



Friday, August 15, 2008

God's Graces

It's by the Grace of God that I make it though every day. With my recorruing depression and anxiety I have days where I can feel like all hope is lost or I feel scared to move forward. A great book on this is Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World which includes a chapter about the devils 3 deadly D's: dispair, discouragement, and depression. Something I run into every day. Yet, there is always something that brings me hope.

It's God's pure love, His tender mercies, and His graces that shower over me. I am amazed that even if I am not in the complete state of grace (by having a mortal sin on my soul), He still showers me and my family with His Graces! What a loving and forgiving God we have on our side!

Note:
Actual Grace is special graces given to us by God to make it though. God provides to those who ask. We can ask for virtues of faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude There are also the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, humility, gentleness, goodness, faith, patience and temperance. And other graces of knowledge, strength, serenity, and more.

Sanctifying Grace is the cleansing of our souls who have been saved by Jesus's death on the cross. We can continue to stay in this state of Sanctifying Grace by going to confession. Jesus does not "cover our sins" as some protestants believe, rather through confession those sins are washed away.

This past week I've been hearing the word "Grace" so often, I know it's God speaking to me. Refining my faith life. My friend Jamie and I have been discussing the logistics of NFP according to the Catholic Teachings, and we talked about God's Grace to get us through the rought patches of NFP, the graces to accept an unplanned pregnancy or miscarriages, etc. Just last Wednesday at the homeschool group's rally, the main speaker talked about Graces in reference to teaching our children and accepting God's Will for us.

Then last night, God spoke to me again in Adoration. He lead me to read a book my mother gave me back in 1995 when I was only 15 years old. It is called "Praying to God as a Friend" by Saint Alphonsus Liguori. She had underlined the parts she wanted me to reflect on. The more I read, I knew this was meant to be...

"Let the mountain streams remind you of God's abundant GRACE pouring int your being."

"Have you forgotten my sins and offenses? Since you have treated me with so much love, and given me GRACES without number, I will love you from now on..."

And in regard to my prayers for graces to live my life as a prayer...

"O Spirit of God, grant me the gift of prayer. Come into my heart and give me the strength not to abandon the practice of prayer eventhough I sometimes grow weary of it. Give me the spirit of perservering in prayer, the GRACE to pray continually."

In regards to me wondering why bad things are allowed to happen to me when I am faithful:

"On the other hand, if you turn to God at once to ask pardon and promise to do better, your very falling will help you to grow in God's love." Meaning that we need to pray to God for the GRACE to see the good that comes from our sins and sufferings.

"Know that this suffering will serve to strengthen you, to increase your humility, and to renew your confidence in God."

The week before in the Perpetual Adoration chapel, I also read some prayers from Prayers Before an Awesome God (The Psalms for Teenagers) by David Haas. The back has "When I.." references to many feelings and desires and the Psalms that refer to them in a prayerful manner. I highly recommend this book for teenagers and young adults!

On my way to the chapel, I had to put in this CD that I used to listen to over 8 years ago during my weekly holy hour. The artist is Simonetta, a beautiful Catholic woman who spoke about St. Philomena and Chastity at the young adult Steubenville Conference back in 1999 or 2000. She has a music CD of beutiful songs. My favorites are called The Beauty that You Are and Keep Your Eyes on the Beloved.

You can follow the link, but here are the main words I love:

Keep your eyes on the Beloved
He can bring you everlasting peace
He’ll take you by the hand, and guide you to him gently
Keep your eyes – on – Him
~

In the quiet of the church, I’ve come to be with You a while
On my knees I pray for Your guidance
On my knees I beg for your helping hand
And yet, I kneel so still & gaze at You, for all all the beauty that You are, to me
In the stillness of the church, I pray...

There is always much that I take from this experience sitting in friendship with my Lord and Saviour. This really is only one revelation. But I hope that you go walk in God's GRACE, and ask Him to continually bless you. And ask often.

God Bless!
Melissa

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adoration Last Thursday

I wanted to post about last Thursday when I went to Adoration for the second time since Jamie urged me to go with her a few weeks ago. The difference was that I went to sub for her this time. Luckily an older woman subing the hour before requested to stay an extra hour with me so I would not be alone at such a late hour. Of course God was there, but you know...

Well, it worked so well last week, I decided to read my little paper I had held onto from when I used to go to adoration every Monday some 8 or so years ago. It's called "A Quarter of an Hour before the Most Blessed Sacrament. Suggestions of the holy Antonius Maria Claret." It is simply heart wrenching for me to read it, because I can feel Him saying it to me as a friend. It is so comforting and startling at the same time. Each time I read it, it still applies to my week. I feel Him proding me on in prayer. This 15 minute prayer card takes me at least 30 minutes as I talk to God in depth about my gratefulness, trials, and prayers for others.

I can't find it anywhere online, so here it is for you to use if you'd like:


A QUARTER OF AN HOUR before the MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT

Do you have to ask me something for someone?

Tell me his/her name and then let me know what you would like me to do now for him/her. Request much! Do not hesitate to ask.

Speak to me also simply and sincerely of the poor whom you wish to console; of the sick whom you see sugger; of those gone astray whom you most ardently wish back on the right way. Have a word for every one, at least one word.


And for youself, don't you need some special grace?

Tell me openly if perhaps you are proud, selfish, unstable, neglectful ... and then ask me to come to your help in the few or many effots you ar emaking to rectify yourself.

Don't be ashamed! Ther are many just ones, many saints in Heaven who had exactly the same faulys as you have. But they asked humbly... and little by little, they were freed from them.

And don't hesitate either to ask for health or success in your work, business or studies.

All this I can give you and will give you. And I wish that you ask me for it; I provide freely all that does not hinder your sanctification, but favours and supports it.

And what do you especially need today?
What can I do for you?
If you know how much I desire to help you...!


Are you just preoccupied with a plan?

Tell me about it. What are you concerned with? What do you think? What do you want? What can I do for your brother, your sister, your friends, your family, your superiors? What would you like to do for them? And with regard to me: Don'y your have the wish that I be glorified? Don't you want to do something good for your friends of whom you are perhaps very fond, but who live perhaps without thinking of me?

Tell me: What especially arouses your attention today? What do you want most ardently? What means are available to you in order to realise your wish?

Let me know if your project does not succeed, and I shall show you the reasons for your failure. Don't you wnat to secure my help?


Are you perhaps in a sad or bad mood?

Relate to me in all details why you are sad.
Who hurt you?
Who offended your self-love?
Who depised you?


Tell me everything, and soon you will have reached the stage where you can say to me that, following my example, you forgive and forget everything. As a reward, you will receive my consoling blessing.

Are you perhaps depressed? Do you feel in your soul that vague discouragement which, although unjustified, continues to trouble your heart? Throw yourself into the arms of my providence! I am with you, at your side. I see everything, hear everything, and not for one moment do I let you down.

Do you feel a dislike for persons who were fond of you before, but who forget oyou now and separate themselves from you, without your having given them the slightest cause to do so? Pray for them, and I shall bring them back to your side if they do not become an obstacle for your sanctification.


And don't you have to inform me perhaps of some joy?

Why don't you let me participate in it, since I am your friend? Report to me what has cheered up your heart and caused you to smile since your last visit with me. Maybe you have experienced pleasant surprises, perhaps you have received happy news, a letter, a sign of affection; perhaps you have overcome a difficulty or escaped a hopeless situation.


ALL THIS IS MY WORK!
You must simply say to me: Thank you, my Father!


Don't you wish to promise me something?

O can read in the depths of hearts. Men can be deluded easily, but not God. Speak therefore very honestly to me. Are you firmly decided not to expose yourself any more to a certainoccasion of sin, to renounce that which is harmful to you, (not to read that book anyu more which has excited your imagination, not to have any more contacts with that person who confuses the peace of your soul?)

Will you again be gentle, kind and helpful to that other person whom you have considered to be an enemy because he did you some wrong?

Well then, go back now to your usual occupation, to your work, your family, your studies. But don't forget the quarter of an hour which weboth have spent here together. Observe, as much as you can, silence, modesty, inner recollection, love to your neighbour.



Love my Mother who is also yours.



And come again with a heart that is still more filled with love, still more devoted to my spirit. You will then find every day in my heart new love, new graces, new consoltaions.




Well, I can't tell you my answers as they are private, but lets just say I was thinking a lot about NFP and it's rules and how hard it is to want something so bad, and not be able to have it. You can read my thoughts and more on Jamie's blog about NFP.


I hope this Q&A will help at least one of you have a positive and uplifting holy hour sometime in the near future. I may not be able to attend every week, but I am certainly encouraged to go again on a more regular basis. In fact, I submitted my name to be an evening sub there. It really brings special gifts to my week.

The first Thursday I went, the next day my husband got laid off then hired again somewhere else not 10 seconds later. I've been blessed with a new peace about my life, and a more sacraficial way of living it. All of this is part of my new "phase in life" as an adult woman and mother. I am only 28, but hey - most days I feel like I am 40 - in knowledge, spirit, contemplation, situation and yes - this worn out body of mine.


My most inspirational quote:
Let Go, and Let God!

(Central Minnesota TEC#274, 288, and others)

It's carried me through many a rough day.

God Bless you all!
Melissa

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Right of Passage

I got this in an email yesterday and it touched me enough to share it with you...

Cherokee Legend - Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blows the grass and earth, and shakes his stump, but he sits stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appears and he removs his blindfold. It is then that he discovers his father sitting on the stump next to him. He has been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, All we have to do is reach out to Him.

Moral of the story:
Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there.
'For we walk by faith, not by sight.'

Friday, August 1, 2008

Serenity Now.

I decided to get a fresh start on myself after sharing in 2 hours of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with my new best friend, Jamie. Last night we bound our homeschool group's yearbooks from 7-9:30pm, went to adoration from 10-12, then resumed with the yearbooks until 2:30am! What a gal!

Here are my newest realizations:

*Leaving my Michalek Family Blog for family stuff, and using this blog for my deepest thoughts of the day that mostly pertain to myself. I invite you all to subscribe to any of my blogs.

*Taking on a new calm feeling about NOT attending my ten year high school reunion. Why am I getting so worked up about meeting people I haven't been friends with in so long, and will never get together with them again anyways? And most of my freinds aren't going either. First I was going to go, because that's just what you do. Then I found out it would cost well over $100 to go between fees, drinks and babysitting. Being broke I said no. Now with Tom back to work, he said I could go if it meant a lot to me - and after adoration last night, I could say "no" with such ease.

*Approaching my role as a mother and wife at home with a new zeal. Taking on the ways of St. Therese, I will be certain that every little thing I do is for the honor of God, instead of just something I have to do.
>>>"You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them." - St. Therese

*God doesn't make "ugly." I want to approach my weight loss in a graceful way. Knowing that the beauty of the Lord can shine through my outward appearance as a large woman or a healthy size. With this confidence, that I am His beautiful creation, I can simply act in a healthy manner to take care of myself - going to the Lord whenever I struggle.
>>>"What beauty? I don't see my beauty at all; I see only the graces I've received from God." -St. Therese

*I'm recharging my prayer life, starting today!

*"I can do all things through God who strengthens me."

Starting Over

I took this picture at Breezy Point Resort, MN last November 2007.

Well, I've decided to work on this blog a little. I want to save my other blog for family things and our homeschooling. This one is really going to focus on me and my feelings, regardless of what anyone else may think. This is my HONEST SPOT.

I'm at a "starting over" point in my life, so I figure this is a good place to start.

Thanks for checking here - and come back again!

Melissa